Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Bad Stunts Sure to Flow for Election

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Bad Stunts Sure to Flow for Election

Article excerpt

STRANGE POLITICS

CHRIS CALCINO

OUR first post-Bronwyn election in 29 years is just around the corner. Bring on the season of whack-job political stuntery!

Dissolving parliament over a failure to get union officials treated like board directors is really a stunt in itself.

Just like Labor's call for a royal commission into banking.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten voted down the Greens' push for the bank inquiry last year, and it is apparently one of his core principles.

While this kind of big-slab posturing can make or break a party's chances, we really must celebrate the little, misguided and utterly bizarre publicity grabs any decent flesh-pressing campaign inevitably produces.

Australia has a long and ... proud is probably the wrong word ... history of ludicrous political grabs around election time.

Just last week, the term "tawdry political stunt" was bandied about after Governor-General Peter Cosgrove seemed to snub Labor deputy leader Tanya Plibersek's attempt to shake his hand.

Oh well, Ms Plibersek's hand will be shaken half to death by the time the election rolls up.

Last year, the Northern Territory Government loudly celebrated the first concrete pour to signify the beginning of a new hospital in Palmerston -- about a year late, mind you.

The foundations were finally laid and the dutiful media were there to witness it.

Five days later, the fake slab was covered over with dirt and the pesky media found out about the horribly conceived PR leg-pulling exercise.

Then there is the ever-affable Clive Palmer, maybe you have heard of him lately?

In his current pickle, it might be easy to overlook his former status as one of the most agile parliamentary stuntmen in the business.

He once twerked his amply proportioned butt cheeks live on camera and radio -- presumably they made some interesting noises -- during a radio broadcast with Kyle and Jackie O. …

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